Protecting yourself from extreme cold
(ABC 6 News) – Travel is not advised, but there are situations in which it’s necessary.
But with temps as cold as they are. Hypothermia and frostbite can occur faster than you think.
If you’re stuck out in the cold, you have minutes before your body begins to shut down, according to MercyOne North Iowa. Those symptoms may seem slow at first.
“Your body will shiver at first, it’s gonna try to make itself warm. But then your body just starts to get tired, you might stop shivering, you might feel kind of tired, you feel very fatigued. You notice that you’re starting to feel kind of confused and you can’t move parts of your body as well,” explained Dr. Taylor May, Family medicine, MercyOne northern Iowa.
According to officials at MercyOne, your nose, your toes, and your fingers are most susceptible when temperatures drop and when your skin color starts changing. You may be in trouble.
“If you’re starting to get color changes, if you notice darkening of the skin, if you’re noticing your fingers or any body part is going pale, that can show that there is a decreased amount of blood getting to that body part and that has long term consequences,” May said.
If you do find yourself stranded, these tips may save your life.
“Call 911, let us know where you’re at, and we’ll get to you, it may take a little bit but we’ll get there. But just stay in your car. It’s so cold those temperatures are so dangerous stay in your car. Again visibility is terrible and people aren’t going to see you if you’re wandering outside your vehicle,” explained Tom Williams, Iowa State Patrol.
Stay inside the car to make sure you’re warm, and help can find you.
Make sure your car has a full tank of gas, so you will have heat. Have a charger so that your phone does not die and pack extra blankets, water, and food in case of an emergency.
Officials also say to make sure that your exhaust pipe is clear of snow. If it’s clogged, those deadly fumes will enter your vehicle.